July 29, 2014

Why Do People Think I Should Hate Republicans? Political parties don't represent people, as Republican Majority for Choice shows

For some reason, people think that I should hate Republicans now.

Let's add a little exposition. I have identified as a Republican or a conservative-leaning independent for as long as I can remember. My recent shift to more radical policies is a staunch deviation from how I grew up and the beliefs I held for the decade or so I was aware of politics.

One of the reasons that people cite when I ask why they think I have a strong dislike of the party is my feminism and pro-choice stances. They are correct that these are two issues that I diverge most strongly from my Republican background on.

Recently, this has come out again and again in reference to the Hobby Lobby ruling. The majority of my Republican friends are celebrating it, yes--but not all Republicans are.

The Republican Majority for Choice, for instance, is decrying the value placed on corporations over individuals:
We have already addressed the ruling’s impact on religious and individual liberty, by emphasizing that the ruling puts the beliefs of an employer above the wellbeing and personal liberty of individual employees. (You can read more here and here.) In addition, we have discussed the broader impact this ruling may have on all approved forms of birth control, but the question of whether or not contraception causes abortions is not a matter of opinion, it is established medical science. Purely and simply, contraception is not abortion. Further, none of the FDA-approved contraceptives, which include IUDs, Plan B, and Ella, cause abortions.
So saying I hate Republicans because I disagree with the Hobby Lobby ruling not only is inaccurate, but also shortchanges Republicans like these, who find the ruling to be very out of line with their own beliefs and what they believe the Republican party should stand for.

Coincidentally, the blog post that I ran across from RMC highlights everything that I, cray-cray feminazi that I am in the minds of people that make these accusations, disagree with in the Hobby Lobby ruling--and they make beautiful points in regards the defense not only of feminine autonomy, but of scientific thought and a secular government.

For instance, they point out the part of the ruling that bugs me the absolute most: the idea that one's beliefs can supersede scientific fact on a scale that impacts other people's lives. They are quite patient in explaining to their detractors:
When regulating medical issues we must value facts as provided by medical experts over opinions based on individual religious or moral beliefs.  Legislating based simply on opinion over fact is a recipe for disaster and has lead to the divisive never-ending debate over prevention and family planning.  Redefining the term “conception” to mean “fertilization” without the necessary third step in the process does not adhere to medical science – which should be the standard.  With so few schools systems requiring comprehensive sex education, it is no wonder that the numbers of unplanned pregnancies and STDs occur with such predictable frequency. 
And they score bonus points for their beliefs on comprehensive sex ed! ;)

RMC also says:
A final thought – We understand and respect that individuals have strongly held personal beliefs that may be contrary to conventional wisdom or even scientific fact. Further, we believe that a well-educated people can discern the difference between dogma and established science and choose the path that best meets their personal needs.  We owe it to the generations that follow to provide them with every possible fact we have about the mysteries of life so they have the same privilege. 

To say that I hate a political party is ridiculous. A political party is people, and I don't hate the vast majority of people. I save that for the most vile of us.

I do, however, reserve the right to decry, and yes, even hate political policies that I feel harm our nation and its people and their basic rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I will happily continue to go to the intellectual mat with anyone that believes that allowing religious beliefs to determine secular government policies is a good thing.

And the choir said: Amen.

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